Energy Efficient Refrigerators

Shopping tips for energy efficient fridges

When you're shopping for energy efficient refrigerators, looking for the Energy Star logo is the easiest way to ensure you're making an environmentally responsible choice. The Energy Star system was designed to make it easy for consumers to identify appliances that are specially designed for optimal efficiency. Energy Star refrigerators are clearly marked with a blue logo, and use between 10 and 50 percent less electricity and water than conventional models.

While you'll find that most energy efficient refrigerators come with a higher initial price tag, it's important that you keep operating costs in mind when weighing all your options. With conventional fridges, you could spend as much on electricity as you did on the appliance itself within as little as eight years. Energy efficient fridges have a much lower so-called "second price tag," which is the cost of running the appliance over its lifetime.

Factors to Consider when Shopping for Energy Star Refrigerators

As a general rule, the most energy efficient refrigerators are also the highest in initial price; that is, the better a given model's energy efficiency rating, the more expensive it is. While this is true of other appliances, such as energy efficient washing machines and dishwashers, fridges are a little different. In most households, refrigerators are the single biggest energy consumer. If there is one appliance that it may be worth investing a little extra money in up front, it would be your refrigerator.

The design of the refrigerator also has a direct impact on its energy consumption. Fridges with side-by-side doors and no freezer consume the most electricity. Refrigerators with freezers at the top or the bottom use about 15 percent less energy than fridge-only models. If you're going to purchase a fridge-only model, single-door appliances are a better option. Of course, Energy Star compact refrigerators use the least power of all—the smaller a model is, the less power you'll need to run it. With energy efficient freezers, remember that chest freezers have the lowest power consumption rates.

Many consumers feel better sticking with well-known brand names and manufacturers, but whatever you choose, make sure you closely review the warranty terms. It can be a safer move to spend a bit more on a trusted name brand that provides comprehensive warranty protection.

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